by Swapnil Bhartiya

Fedora 22: First impressions

News Analysis
May 26, 20153 mins
LinuxOpen SourceOperating Systems

The latest release of one of the most reputable Linux distributions is here!

Fedora was the first GNU/Linux based distribution that I ever used way back in 2005. It is among the top 5 distros on DistroWatch. And Linus Torvalds himself uses Fedora.

Fedora is known as a bleeding edge distro that also works as the base of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Fedora is the place where the community introduces new technologies that are later adopted by RHEL and other projects.

And now Fedora 22 has arrived! Here are my first impressions.

Installer: Users beware

Here in Virginia if you are buying property the law is that buyer has to be beware. Sellers are not obligated to tell the potential buyer about any problems. The same is the case with Fedora; when it comes to installation, it’s ‘User Beware’.

Fedora’s installer is certainly not very intuitive for new users. Instead of offering an easy ‘click-next’-like UI for new users so they don’t miss any important steps, Fedora developers decided to cram as many options as possible onto a single page. In many cases I have seen new users who installed Fedora without creating any users and then ended up with an unusable system.

Make sure to create a user in the third step of the installation. Also if you choose a weak password, Fedora won’t even warn you and you may continue to wonder why the installation is not progressing. Fedora shows the warnings in ‘fine print’, and if you are not careful enough you will keep missing them.

Fedora users would certainly benefit from better UI — at least when it comes to installation.

Post installation

Post installation everything is as smooth as silk. Fedora uses Gnome as the default desktop environment (and is the largest contributor to the Gnome project). But Fedora’s out-of-the-box Gnome experience leaves a lot to be desired. One of the most critical tools for a decent Gnome experience is Gnome Tweak Tool and it doesn’t come pre-installed on Fedora.

Fedora and Gnome have done an incredible job with software management. The Gnome ‘Software’ is what every single Linux distribution needs. Instead of having their own software managers (and creating a fragmented experience and waste of resources), they should all move to a common management tool.

Installing software is extremely easy in Fedora — even though licensing and patenting issues mean that Fedora can’t ship certain drivers and applications. But users can install such packages via RPMFusion repository.

Fedora 22 comes with Gnome 3.16, which is the latest release of the distro and brings massive improvements over previous releases. Most notable among them is the brand new notification system and improvements to the file manager of Gnome.

Despite being a Plasma user, I am truly impressed with the latest Gnome release. I am tempted to use it, but for one thing: its file manager can’t batch-rename files.

Beyond Gnome

Fedora is not a Gnome-only distro. All major desktop environments, including KDE, MATE, Xfce, etc. are available as official spins. Fedora offers a vanilla Plasma experience without any patching. But I prefer openSUSE’s KDE integration as they do patch things as and when needed to offer consistent experience of the desktop environment with the OS.

I have not spent much time with Fedora 22 yet, so I can’t really comment on its stability and potential problems. I will be running it on my system this week and will return with a detailed review.

But don’t wait for me to review it. Go ahead download the OS used by Linus himself and let us know what you think about Fedora 22.